Edinburgh International Book Festival has officially began, 17 days fill to the brim with books. Just outside the festival is a very welcoming sign, inviting you to come in and join in the fun. It is free to come and sit in the gardens. I can not recommend highly enough the atmosphere that is to be found at Edinburgh International Book Festival, it is inspirational and if all you come and do is come and sit in the gardens and soak up this atmosphere. I guarantee you will leave a happy and inspired person.
The welcoming deck chairs are back again, with a refreshed look. I have pictures of three of them and I promise I will take photos of the rest throughout the festival. All the deck chairs have quotes on them that promote a love of reading, writing and grammar. Perhaps my favourite chair is the Hilary Mantel one. Her words are so true.
Edinburgh International Book festival is a good excuse to catch up with old friends who I don’t see a lot in life. The book festival is an opportunity for us to come together and share our love with literature. i have already had some great discussions and conversations and I know I have many more to look forward to.
My only event today was Andrew Motion which was chaired by Sarah Crown. In this event he was talking about his new book Silver which in his own words is a tribute to Treasure Island. He started with a reading he read from pages 81 to 83 during this scene Jim is presenting Long John Silver with the map.
Andrew Motion has moved the tribute forward till 1802, the reader gets to meet the women of colour, this is Long John Silver’s wife who we don’t actually get to meet in Treasure Island. He told us the reason that he moved the novel into a different century was to take a big step away from the original, he feels that sequel’s fail when the author chooses to stay to close to the original book.
He mentioned the man who sits in the crow’s nest, he named that character Mr Stevenson. This character looks out for the ship during it’s journey to Treasure Island. However just before they ship reaches Treasure Island this character is taken down from the crow’s nest, this was a symbol for the fact that in this book Treasure Island belongs to Andrew Motion.
He talked strongly about how there is no permanent female characters in Treasure Island. This was something the Motion wanted to change, hence why one of the main characters is a female.
He was asked about the ending of the book which literally ends on a cliffhanger. To him this was a joke that he had put into the novel and once he comes back his trip he plans on signing the contracts for the next book, which he said will pick up where Silver has left off.
He is also planning a third book, a Victorian thriller that sees Jim returning to England.
Next question was what is the point of literature? His answer was simple. Literature is to celebrate what we have, what we have lost and it helps to issue a larger warning of what is to come.
Andrew then talked about how there is a vast amount of books by Stevenson that are unread by the majority of people. He mentioned that his favourite Stevenson book was The Ebb-Tide which was a collaboration with Lloyd Osbourne, he described this book as a masterpiece. Andrew then said that if the only thing to people took away from his event was to read more Robert Louis Stevenson then he will be very happy. After hearing The Ebb-Tide being described as a masterpiece I am sure it will be a book I will have purchased and read before the end of the year.
Perhaps the only disappointment for me was he had to rush off after the event to catch a train which resulted in the book signing being cancelled after I had carried round a huge hardback in my bag all day. However over all it is a very interesting event and I do recommend that you buy and read a copy of Silver this year.
Are you planning on going to the Edinburgh International Book Festival? What are you planning on seeing?